On the Translator’s Subjectivity -- From the Perspective of Gadamer’s Philosophical Hermeneutics

Yan LI


For a long period in history, translation approach is prescriptive and source-text oriented. Much of the emphasis is put on the nature, criteria and techniques of translation, highlighting the decisive status of the source text and putting the translator in a neglected position. With the uprising of the descriptive translation approach accompanying the “Cultural Turn” in translation studies in the west after the 1970s, the complex role that the translator plays in the whole process of translation has gained increasing attention among translation theorists. The subjectivity of the translator, one branch of the study on the translator, has become a necessary and important research subject. This paper applies the basic notions of Hans-Georg Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics-historical interpretation, prejudice and fusion of horizons-to justify the translator’s subjective creativity in the act of translation. It probes into the connotation of the translator’s subjectivity, its manifestations and restrictions.

Key words: Translator’s subjectivity; Philosophical hermeneutics; Interpretation; Fusion of horizons


Translator’s subjectivity; Philosophical hermeneutics; Interpretation; Fusion of horizons

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/j.hess.1927024020120302.1921


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